Pearl Prynne . In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he created a symbol of great magnitude. A character that changed the story for good and for worse, her name was Pearl Prynne. Pearl is not meant to be a realistic character. Rather, she is a complicated symbol of an act of love and passion adultery. Pearl is the living version of the scarlet letter. It was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life.
(98) When Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale committed an act of passion, they did not take into account the consequences. Hester was to wear a scarlet letter on her bosom for the rest of her life and deal with a child born out of sin. Pearl is a constant reminder of Hesters sin. There are many instances throughout the novel in which Pearl fixates on the letter and seems to connect with it. She creates her own letter out of seaweed and moss, sees the letter in the breastplate at Governor Bellinghams mansion, and points at it in the forest scene with Hester and Dimmesdale. When she was a baby, it was the very first thing she recognized. But that the first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware wasshall we say it? the scarlet letter on Hesters bosom! (93) When Pearl was told that she came from some heavenly father, she denied it.
This connects Pearl and the scarlet letter because the letter is said to be the devils letter. Once in my life I met the Black Man! said her mother. This scarlet letter is his mark! (182) The sin of adultery was committed and a child was conceived out of a forbidden sin. Pearl is the indicator of transgression that everyone could see, feel, talk to, and love. The fact that Hester loved Pearl made it difficult to believe that she had done wrong. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are marked for the rest of their earthly lives with the mark of earthly sins. In giving her existence, a great law had been broken, and the result was a being whose elements were perhaps beautiful and brilliant (87) Even the way Hester dressed Pearl was symbolic.
... larger picture affects a whole society. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, secret sin is a predominant theme, which in this novel ... one to leach off. His inheritance is left to Pearl which gives Pearl and Hester there chance to leave and search for better ... kept secret because it always leaves a mark. Hester Prynne hides a significant amount of sin inside of herself, which only adds to ...
The colors connect Pearl to the letter and Hesters passion. Hester constantly dresses Pearl in outfits of gold and red and sometimes both. Even when Hester and Pearl go to Governor Bellinghams house to plead that Hester keep Pearl, Hester dresses Pearl in a crimson velvet tunic of a peculiar cut, abundantly embroidered with fantasies and flourishes of gold thread. (98) Physical descriptions of the scarlet letter and Pearls clothing are virtually interchangeable. Hester Prynne loves Pearl, but she also hates her. When Pearl was born, she brought joy an inspiration to her mothers life and hope of a better future; but those feelings quickly changed due to Pearls bizarre character. Although Hester never stopped loving Pearl, she questioned her origin and kind. O Father in Heavenif Thou art still my Father what is this being which I have brought into the world! (92) When Pearl was born, Hester gave everything to be a good mother and paid the biggest price; love, reputation, and friendship.
Hester had to live a life of solidarity and enjoy the company of only Pearl. Pearl, as being of great pricepurchased with all she hadher mothers only treasure! (85) Although Pearl could not express just how she felt towards her mother, she demonstrated how she loved her by trying to protect Hester. She screamed and shouted, too, with a terrific volume of sound which, doubtless, caused the hearts of the fugitives to quake within them. The victory accomplished, Pearl returned quietly to her mother, and looked up, smiling into her face. (99) It made Hester Prynne feel as if it could not be the image of her own child, but of an imp who was seeking to mound itself into Pearls shape. (102) Many times in the novel, Hawthorne compares Pearl to something inhuman, or demon like.
... her identity. When Pearl questioned her mother as to where she came from, Hester vaguely answered, "Thy Heavenly Father sent thee!" ( ... the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the book is Pearl, the illegitimate daughter of Hester Prynne and Reverend Arthur ... infant "Pearl," as being of great price, -purchased with all she had, -her mother's only treasure!" (Hawthorne, 62). Hester named her ...
He also has Hester question Pearls true origin; whether it is from Hester or Satan or some other place. Pearl acts as a symbol within the entire novel, until the last scaffold scene, in which Dimmesdale calls Hester and Pearl up on the scaffold with him as he lay dying. My little Pearl, said he feeblyand there was a sweet and gentle smile over his face, as of a spirit sinking into deep repose; nay, now that the burden was removed, it seemed almost as if he would be sportive with the childdear little Pearl, wilt thou kiss me now? Thou wouldst not, yonder, in the forest! But now thou wilt! Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her fathers cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearls errand as a messenger of anguish was fulfilled. (251) Pearl becomes human because Hester and Dimmesdale sacrifice everything in the end.
If it had not been for Hesters pride and Dimmesdales honesty in the end, Pearl would have remained inhuman. While Pearl functions mainly as a symbol, she is allowed to become a flesh and blood person at the end. She is a combination of her mothers passion and intuitive understanding and her fathers keen mental acuity. In her, Hawthorne has created a symbol of great wealth and layers..